aviation history

Stuck at the Airport: Travel Tidbits

Clyde Pangborn’s Uneaten Sandwich

An old, stale sandwich locked away in a Washington state museum is drawing fresh attention to an aviation daredevil and the 90th anniversary of a record-setting flight.

The sandwich is said to have traveled with Clyde “Upside-Down” Pangborn. But when? It could have been in 1926, when he was wowing spectators as a stuntman in a flying circus, doing aerial stunts such as loops, flying upside down, changing planes in midair, and completing auto-to-airplane transfers. Or it could have been in October 1931, when Pangborn and co-pilot Hugh Herndon, Jr. set a transpacific record by flying nonstop from Misawa, Japan, to East Wenatchee, Washington, in 41 hours and 13 minutes (some say 15 minutes).

Either way, the sandwich that is tucked away a the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center is really, really old and gaining new attention because this month is the anniversary of Pangborn’s record-setting flight. Read more about Pangborn and the sandwich in the story we wrote for The Points Guy.

(Photos courtesy of the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center).

Alaska Airlines unleashes the Kraken plane

In Seattle, the home base of Stuck at The Airport, we have a new hockey professional ice hockey team, called the Kraken.

The city is pretty darn excited. And so is Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, which is the Kraken’s official airline.

To celebrate, the airline is flying a custom Kraken-themed plane on routes to the team’s away games in cities Alaska Airline serves.

And here’s a nice perk: now through the end of the hockey season, Kraken fans who wear the teams’ jersey can board early on all Alaska flights departing from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Paine Field (PAE).

Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l Airport Moves a Mural

A large 3-part mural by Paul Coze that has been greeting travelers inside Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for decades has a new home in the airport’s Rental Car Center.

Here’s a time-lapse video of the move.

“The Phoenix,” is a triptych 75 feet wide and 16 feet high and is believed to be the first piece of public art commissioned by the city that was chosen through a public process. The mural debuted when Terminal 2 opened in 1962.

The imagery in the mural includes depictions and symbols that relate to the area’s first inhabitants, the Hohokam, as well as modern tribes and Latino heritage. Also represented are wagon trains, railroads, cattle ranching, mining, and technology. Besides paint media, 52 different materials, including glass and ceramic mosaic tiles, soil and sand from around the state, plastics, aluminum, and gemstones, are used in the mural construction.

So you can imagine that moving this mural was a delicate undertaking. But it looks like it worked out just fine.

Airports mark Int’l Air Traffic Controllers Day

On October 20, airports around the country – and the world – gave thanks and shared great photos in honor of International Airport Traffic Controllers Day. See how many towers you recognize. And read till the end so you can see a very cool airport control tower tattoo!

Let us know if we missed your airport and we’ll add it in.

And look at this new tattoo!

The above tattoo is of the old air traffic control tower at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Here’s a photo of that, courtesy of Carolyn Russo, from her great photography book Art of the Airport Tower.

Museum Monday: Aerospace Medicine at Seattle’s Museum of Flight

Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day returns on September 18, 2021 and on that day more than 1000 museums, science centers, and gardens around the country will be offering free admission to anyone who shows up with a downloaded Museum Day ticket.

Seattle’s Museum of Flight (where regular admission is usually $25) is on the list this year and we’ve already downloaded our ticket so we can go see the museum’s newest exhibit called Stranger Than Fiction – the Incredible Science of Aerospace Medicine.

The exhibit includes dozen of artifacts, including medical kits, airsickness bags, flight suits, and spacesuits. and tells the story of aviation and space adventurers, doctors, and researchers who make it possible for people to fly through the air and off into space.

Below are some of the retro comic book-style images the Museum of Flight is using to help make the exhibit accessible to all. And here is the official Stranger Than Fiction soundtrack, created by artist Leeni Ramadan.

(All photos courtesy Museum of Flight)

Celebrating the centenary of Bessie Coleman’s pilot license

On Monday, the National Air and Space Museum, and many others, marked the 100th anniversary of the day Bessie Coleman earned her pilot’s license – and changed history.

Click through the links in the tweets below to learn more about this incredible woman and some of the men and women who were inspired by her accomplishments.

Bessie Coleman next to a Curtiss JN-4 Jenny aircraft  -courtesy National Air and Space Museum

Come Fly With Me: Book Features Celebs in Transit

Photo by Dennis Stone/Shutterstock. Joan Collins JOAN COLLINS

Have you ever spotted a celebrity in the airport or on your flight during your travels? It’s a bit of a thrill, right?

A new book coming out from Rizzoli called Come Fly With Me: Flying in Style, is filled with paparazzi-taken images of actors, rock stars, and others coming and going from airports around the world.

Jodi Peckman an award-winning creative director, photo editor, and writer who spent thirty years working with Rolling Stone magazine, chose the images for the book, which you can read about in our story on The Runway Girl Network

Before yo go, here are a few other images from the book.

Frank Zappa with straw boater hat at London’s Heathrow airport. April 1975